11/25: More Florida injuries; Muschamp on coaching changes, fixing the Gators in 2014

By Adam Silverstein
November 25, 2013

Florida Gators head coach Will Muschamp met with the media on Monday to discuss his team’s 26-20 loss to the Georgia Southern Eagles and upcoming season finale at home against the No. 2 Florida State Seminoles on Saturday, Nov. 30. The game will kick off at 12:00 p.m. and air live on ESPN.

INJURY UPDATES

The Gators will be without at least two more players on Saturday as redshirt junior linebacker Michael Taylor (sprained MCL) and freshman LB Alex Anzalone (dislocated shoulder) have already been ruled out for the game. Taylor will avoid surgery, but Anzalone will be forced to go under the knife.

Muschamp also called redshirt junior quarterback Tyler Murphy (shoulder) questionable and listed sophomore left tackle D.J. Humphries (sprained MCL) as doubtful.

Junior cornerback Marcus Roberson (ankle) has already been cleared to play, and sophomore defensive end Jonathan Bullard (knee) is probable to see the field.

COACHING CHANGES COMING?

Muschamp refused to address the recent reports that it has already been decided that adjustments will be made to Florida’s offensive staff.

“There’s no changes that have been made at this time,” he said. “I’m not ready to make any statement on that at this point. We’re still playing out the season and those guys are going to coach their butts off. I’ll make that decision when I think it’s ready.”

In a similar vein, Muschamp was adamant that he was not at all concerned about his future with the Gators.

“Absolutely not,” he said when asked if he was worried about his job. After being questioned about his confidence in returning next season, Muschamp similarly answered, “Absolutely.”

He also once again put the blame on his shoulders – “It’s on me. We’ll get it fixed. I can assure you of that” – but admitted that it was nice to have the support of the players in addition to that of the administration.

“I think it’s important. Obviously I think that they understand where we are and where we’re headed with the program.” Muschamp said. “They have total confidence, in my opinion, of where we’re headed. I think they understand the plan and what we need to do … as we move forward.”


GETTING IT FIXED

When Muschamp took over the Gators, he memorably and confidently said that Florida was not a program that needed five years to be rebuilt. Yet in the third year of his tenure, UF is about to post its worst record and first losing season since 1979 and has more questions than answers at this point.

“Continue to recruit well, which I think our last two classes – you look at the production on the field of those two classes has been very good – got to continue to put together another class like that,” said Muschamp on what he can do to turn Florida around. “I think we need to make some improvements offensively. I think defensively we’ve been a little inconsistent this year. I think obviously we’ve taken a step back, from my opinion, for some obvious reasons. But at the end of the day, it’s not an excuse. We need to perform better on the field and that’s my responsibility.”

He also expressed his confidence in getting the program fixed and rehashed his contention that the Gators are much closer to returning to being a top-tier team than many might believe.

“I don’t think it’s hitting a reset button. It takes work. I don’t believe we’re that far off, regardless of the results Saturday afternoon, which was all disappointing for everyone, starting with me. I just don’t feel like we’re that far off,” Muschamp said.

“I think there’s some key components of our football team that aren’t playing for us right now and we’re very thin in some areas. It is what it is. I’m not making excuses; that’s just the facts and it’s real.

“I think we got a good staff and I think we got a really good football team fighting their butt off – this Saturday first of all and – heading into spring. I’m excited about that, and I’m excited about this Saturday and our guys getting out and competing again.”

NOTES AND QUOTES

» On his message to prospects who may be concerned about committing to the Gators: “It’s still the University of Florida. I think there’s some obvious reasons why we are where we are. We’re a team that won 11 games last year, and I don’t think that happened by accident. We have a really good football staff. We’ve got some good players on our football team. We’re going to have a good football team moving forward. At the end of the day, this is a great education, it’s a great place to come compete and be a student-athlete.”

» On why Florida has sometimes imploded when adversity struck during a game: “I think that a lot of the leadership we have hasn’t played for us this year – Jeff Driskel, Dominique Easley – a lot of those guys haven’t been a part of what we’re trying to do as far as being on the field and playing for us. I still think we have good leadership on the team or in this program. Some of it is absent at this point. If that’s the situation, we need to coach better. That’s the bottom line.”

» Muschamp said the Gators will discuss early entrants into the 2014 NFL Draft at the conclusion of the season. He will get the players the necessary advice and information and help them make a decision about their future.

» Muschamp said redshirt junior walk-on kicker Frankie Velez would be the primary starter on Saturday but redshirt freshman Austin Hardin could come in for long field goals if needed.

» On whether he has veto power over offensive play calls: “Total veto power. I have the opportunity. I’m as mad at myself as I am at anybody else.”

» On his relationship with the media: “I love you guys. I don’t have any problem with anybody. Everybody has an opinion and everybody’s certainly entitled to that. That’s part of it. That’s part of the job. I don’t have any issue with that. … I say what’s on my mind. I tell you the way it is. I don’t want to beat around it or anything. … You got jobs to do. Sometimes your opinion may be different from mine. … And that’s fine. I’m involved in the day to day operation of the program. You got to see the big picture of where we are and more than anything where we’re headed. It’s been very frustrating and it’s all on me. I get all that and we need to improve and get better. And that’s what we’re going to do. But I ain’t got any problem with [the media].”

» On Florida State’s star quarterback: “Jameis Winston is a fantastic football player, mature beyond his years. A really good athlete, but a really good quarterback. A guy that’s got a great arm. He can make all the throws. … He makes some throws now. He’s got a really good arm. He understands where he’s taking the football, got a really good pocket presence, can hurt you with his legs. He’s a really good athlete as well, but he’s a quarterback first.”

18 Comments

  1. Sharon M. says:

    I think will Muschamp is living in LA LA land. Time will tell.

    • G2 says:

      He doesn’t know whats wrong therefore no clue how to fix it…. but keeps saying he will? He’s made two terrible OC hires already, so who’s next? Lots of people asking for Kerwin Bell. I don’t see it but might be the only choice given the situation.

  2. Aaron says:

    Really don’t want Muschamp as coach next year but maybe this year is a learning trial for him. That’s all we can hope for. GO GATORS

  3. TST says:

    This guy ‘Boom’ has put a serious dent in my trill of Gator football . It just ain’t fun as it once was . TY JF #^*1&%3 enough said

  4. Ken (CA) says:

    I think a great follow up question to the veto power would be “why are you mad? Did you veto something you shouldn’t have?” or “How often do you use that power each game?”

    • Ankur says:

      Great point Ken. I would love to know the answer to that. I feel that many times this season, Muschamp has kicked the ball, when we should’ve gone for it, and gone for it, when we should’ve kicked. I really hope these situations have served as learning experiences, since he is a first time head coach. I really hope he makes the right offensive coordinator hire, and all these conversations of a team ranking 111th in offense become a joke of the past. As many people have already stated, we can only go up from here.. Go gators!

  5. SW FL Joe says:

    When Muschamp talks about fixing the program, I think he means the same thing as when I tell people we had our male dog fixed.

  6. g8ter27 says:

    Clueless. This guy is out there, I am afraid that maybe he has had an undiagnosed mini stroke or something. He should seriously have someone get him checked out because at this point, unless you are paraphrasing or cutting and pasting sentences Adam, some of the stuff he says is retarded. A little inconsistent on defense…he thinks? On a positive, he seems really excited about lots of things.

  7. Jared says:

    Not that far off? From what? Going 6-6.

    I fear that Foley makes decisions based on recruiting classes. A good hire would keep the majority of this class including Grier.

    How many wins does Muschamp need to be back for a 5th year? Seeing how much Foley loves this guy, I bet he thinks 8 wins would be enough. Our rivals must be ecstatic that he is being retained. Really surprised the Bull Gators can’t force him out. Its obvious to everyone but Foley that Muschamp doesn’t have it.

    • Ken (CA) says:

      King of like the way we used to feel with Goff and Richt. We always knew we were going to win because our coaches could run circles around them on the field. Now Richt is laughing himself to sleep at night

  8. SJ210 says:

    Adam or anyone else – where has Daniel McMillan been? Injured? We were so thin at LB this past Saturday we were playing a walk-on, but no sign of McMillan. Early enrollee and coaches were raving about him earlier, now he’s disappeared

  9. Sam Andreu says:

    Serious adversity can lead to a lot of strength. These players and coaches will have a lot to prove next year. If Foley says Musclechamp is staying, we need to support that. I hope “my gators” punch HALF ASS U IN THE MOUTH THIS SATURDAY.

  10. Iron Gator says:

    Every body has something to say but was riding all on Florida’s dick last season with the 11-2 record! Forever Gator Nation!

    • Ken (CA) says:

      yu we did it was mostly how the *!$! did we do this with such a horrible offense? and Darn, we sure got lucky…..

  11. Hoss Chisom says:

    Secret memo released:
    Nice work, Agent Will “Rain Man” Muschamp, mission accomplished ! Return to your alma mater and Athens immediately upon release for reward for purposefully sending the UF football program back five years and losing all three games — in the most important football game of the year !! — to your former team, and college. City Hall will also present you the key to the city, and a parade will be held in your honor. We would like to remind you, Agent Will “Rain Man” Muschamp, to start wearing a helmet when you walk so you won’t further damage your brain bumping into trees. Oh, Wapner’s on !
    Second secret memo revealed:
    Disregard last memo, Agent Will “Rain Man” Muschamp ! Continue sabotaging UF football program and losing the most important football game of the year — to your former team, and college ! — for the next five additional years also. How stupid is that UF AD Foley to hire a UGA football player and grad who HATES the Gators in his heart and soul ? What a buffoon Foley is. Foley hires our not-so-bright, UGA agent provocateur named Will “Rain Man” Muschamp for the UF-UGA game. YeeeeHaaaaaw !! Is Foley the love child of Neville Chamberlain ? No, that’s John Kerry. However, Foley is more easily bamboozled than either Kerry or Chamberlain. LOLROFLOAO 🙂
    Sincerely, from one family member to another,
    Your fellow UGA football players, and alumni.

  12. Sharon M. says:

    I don’t have to support Foley making a bad decision(keeping Muschamp). It’s a financial decision for him – too expensive to fire him.

    I will continue to support the Gators and will watch the game Saturday though I expect it to be a total blowout.

    Muschamp doesn’t know how to fix this great program that he has run into the ground.THIS IS UF!

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